sorry for the absence and a meme!

It’s been a rough week here, so the blog has been largely silent as I try to work out some snarls (both literally and figuratively: right now I have unspun fiber and a sweater project vying with books and a temperamental cat on my desk). But Eva over at A Striped Armchair gave me a perfect excuse to step outside of my frustrations when she tagged me with a meme that originated with Kimbooktu (my first!):

Hardcover or paperback? Why? I actually like both, although I draw the line at mass markets and really, really cheaply made trade paperbacks. I think that overall I tend to prefer hardcover just because it gives me a sense that it will last longer, but my shelves are liberally adorned with both (and if they have rough-cut pages, even better, because I can also be a rather shallow person when it comes to the appearance of my books). I only wish that hardcovers were prettier without the dust jackets, as those tend to go the way of the recycling bin rather early on.

If I were to own a book shop I would call it… Unabridged. Bring on the loose baggy monsters!

My favourite quote from a book (name it) is… I don’t really have a favorite. Although I’ve long thought I should start recording some of my favorite passages a bit more rigorously.

The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be… I can’t choose just one but I have three possibilities: George Eliot, Leo Tolstoy, and Isaiah Berlin. Eliot and Tolstoy have such fascinating ideas regarding history and I have an intellectual crush on Berlin…

If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be… I’m going to have to go with either War and Peace (and perhaps in Russian so it would take me a bit longer to read), or Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago (I’m going for length here). Although I recently acquired Vassily Grossman’s Life and Fate, so perhaps that one would win out. They’re all doorstoppers…

I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that allowed me to automatically understand every foreign language so that I would be able to read any work in its original language.

The smell of an old book reminds me of… Doing research in the archives and the feel of history under my fingertips.

If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be… Miss Marple from the Agatha Christie mysteries. I would love an excuse to let my inner nosy old woman out…and I’d get to incorporate knitting into my detecting, which is always a plus.

The most overestimated book of all time is… I don’t know if I can answer that, honestly. There are a number of books that others have loved that I just can’t get into, but c’est la vie.

I hate it when a book… looks beautiful and promising and then leaves me cold. I like my big fat novels to have some umph to them (and not just as potential missiles).

As far as tagging five people goes…I’ve seen this one around quite a bit, so I’m taking the easy route: anyone who is interested….you’re it!


10 responses to this post.

  1. “Unabridged.” Another great bookstore name!


  2. I love your answers! Glad to see another War and Peace vote. 🙂 And your gadget would be so cool! Fun book name as well.

    Hope that next week is less stressful!


  3. I like your bookish gadget too — how wonderful would that be? And I’d kind of like to be better about recording passages I like — perhaps that’s an idea for a blog, a commonplace blog, which would be mostly for myself. I might be more likely to type out passages I like rather than writing them in a journal.


  4. Sylvia: Thanks!

    Eva: Thanks for tagging me for the meme! And W&P will always get a vote from me–I have a soft spot for it since I wrote a terrible senior thesis on it in college.

    Dorothy: Wouldn’t it be great to be able to read any foreign language with ease? And I like your idea of a commonplace blog for quotes. I often don’t have the patience to write out passages I like longhand, but perhaps I could convince myself to type them…


  5. I just tack my favourite passages on to the end of reviews…I figure that way people can either read them or ignore them, and it’s really easy for me to find them. 🙂

    And you’re certainly welcome for tagging you-I’m surprised this was your first one!


  6. Eva: Good idea about the passages. My problem is that I tend to forget to flag those passages (I write in the books I’m reading for school, but not, for some reason, those books I read for “fun.” I should change that.) and then I can’t remember where they were. But thanks for the tag–this meme was quite fun!


  7. That’s when it comes in handy if you don’t mind dogearing your books. I just dogear the bottom corner, and then go back later and find the passage.

    But I know for some readers that sounds like blasphemy!


  8. Eva: I really just need to start reading with a pencil in hand, or, barring that, some sticky notes. I just always forget them because I’m a bit absent-minded. I would dog-ear, but I’m not always very gentle with my books and pages often get bent by accident…


  9. Love your bookstore name. And if you happen to find that bookish gadget, please let me know where I can get one too!


  10. Stefanie: Thanks! Perhaps I should find a way to invent the gadget myself so that I could make enough money to support a life of leisure and reading!


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